Call to action on Colorado climate action bill HB-1261

April 7, 2019

climate change, Colorado

Denver’s Air Quality Index (AQI) reached a high of 154 on March 6, exceeding the threshold for unhealthy levels of pollution on the scale set by the Environmental Protection Agency.

On March 21, legislators introduced HB19-1261, a bill to reduce Colorado’s greenhouse gas emissions 90% below 2005 levels by 2050. Titled Climate Action Plan To Reduce Pollution, the bill passed its first hearing in the House Energy and Environment Committee on Friday night (April 5). Next it moves to the House Appropriations Committee, and then to the House floor for a vote. After it passes the House, the bill moves over to the Senate and it starts over again.

HB-1261 will move at a faster pace now because the legislative session ends May 3.

Please contact your state legislators today and ask them to support HB-1261: Climate Action Plan To Reduce Pollution.

Click here to contact your representatives email and phone numbers for all State Representatives and Senators.

We all know the weather in Colorado has changed a lot over the past 20 years. The truth is, it’s worse than you think. The pace of climate change is accelerating in Colorado, as it is all over the planet. The disturbing reality of climate change in Colorado is laid out below.

To help you start the conversation with your legislators these “Colorado Climate Change Facts” were researched and compiled by Jan Rose, a member of the Climate Reality Project: Denver-Boulder Chapter. Please feel free to use this information when you contact your state legislators. Add your own Colorado climate change facts.

Colorado Climate Change Facts

Colorado is already 2 degrees Fahrenheit hotter than 30 years ago. The Four Corners region is 3.5 degrees hotter.

During the March 2019 bomb-cyclone, the atmospheric pressure dropped over 30 millibars in less than 24 hours, which more than exceeds the definition of a bomb cyclone. When a storm rapidly gains strength it is referred to as explosive cyclogenesis, making this one the strongest recorded bombogenesis ever. It has caused massive flooding, crop distribution, and livestock loss throughout the Midwest and Plains states.

The average fire season in Colorado is now 105 days longer than the 1970s and burns THIRTY TIMES more acres.

Days above 95 degrees will rise from an average of 10 now, to more than 50 by 2050, if we don’t reduce global warming.

September 2018 was our longest run of 90-plus degree days in recorded history.

All 64 counties in Colorado have had national weather disasters declared since 2010.

January 2016 saw the first ever red flag (fire danger) and blizzard warning on the same day in Colorado history.

On December 11, 2017, Steamboat had only one chairlift operating and four runs open to the public.

During Summer 2018, Ingram Falls in Telluride stopped flowing for the first time in history.

In August 2018, Colorado Springs was hit by a hail storm so sudden and strong that it killed birds and animals in the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and broke most of the windows of the building and visitors’ cars.

In May 2017, a hailstorm hit three Front Range cities and caused more than $1 billion in property losses in less than an hour. But in Cordoba Argentina, on October 26, 2017, 4.9 FEET of hail fell in FIFTEEN MINUTES. What do we do when that happens in Colorado?

Lake Mead, fed from the Colorado River, is at its lowest level since the Hoover Dam was built in 1936.

Blue Mesa Reservoir was at 50 percent of capacity in October 2018.

Ninety percent of Colorado snow monitors show a substantial reduction in snow pack in the month of April, threatening summer agriculture and increased fire conditions

3.4 MILLION acres of Colorado’s forests have been infested by bark beetles.

For every one degree of warming, lightning increases 10 to 12 percent. For every one degree of warming, 7percent more water vapor evaporates from the ocean producing bigger, stronger, and much more violent storms.

Denver is the 8th most polluted city in the country. This year Denver has had more than five days above the EPA limit with smog levels above 120 (that’s higher than Beijing). The EPA standard as of 2015 is 70.

According to NOAA:

  • 45% of that smog is caused by oil & gas operations;
  • 45% by transportation;
  • 10% by factories, chemical plants and other industrial operations.

Boulder set a target of 15% GHG reduction by 2020, and achieved 16% by 2017.

Aspen achieved its 100% renewable electricity goal in 2015, becoming the third city in the US to do so, joining Greensburg Kansas, and Burlington Vermont.

Xcel Energy and Platte River Authority have already announced their commitment to 100% net-zero carbon future by 2050 and 2030 respectively

Replacing the Comanche 1 & 2 coal plants with wind/solar/battery came in at 2.1c/KWh while LNG turbine came in at 11.3c/KWh and they still have to buy fuel every month for the life of the plant. The sun and the wind are free.

17 mayors, cities, and counties in Colorado already have campaigns underway to achieve 100% renewable electricity, including Denver city and county — the largest city and county by population in the state.

Governor Polis campaigned on a goal of 100% renewable electricity by 2040.

WHB-1261 needs our help to pass the legislature!

We must act now!

Contact your representatives

Thank you!

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